Note to Legislature: Nothing’s ‘historic’ until it passes

According to leaders of the Georgia House, the ethics-reform plan that their chamber passed overwhelmingly last month is an achievement of historic proportions. In fact, it “represents without overstatement or understatement the most ambitious change in ethics laws in modern times,” as state Rep. Rich Golick described the plan to a Senate committee this week.

It’s fair to say that Senate leaders were not impressed.

One day after Golick’s presentation, senators proceeded to dump most of the House plan and replace it with their own, very different plan. This was described by one senator as “an historic ethics proposal with the potential to change the culture” of state government.

Setting aside their alleged historic nature, the approaches championed by the two chambers have little in common. The House has passed what it claims to be a total ban on lobbyist expenditures, although as senators like to point out, that “ban” includes significant loopholes. According to Golick, those loopholes are needed to accommodate “ordinary and customary practice” in the Legislature.

The Senate has responded with a bill that closes those loopholes, for example by banning lobbyist expenditures on legislative family members and staff. But instead of banning lobbyist gifts to legislators, it merely caps their value at $100 a pop, leading House Speaker David Ralston to call it “more of a visor than a cap.” As Ralston has also accurately pointed out, the Senate plan allows legislators to accept an unlimited number of those $100 gifts, including several a day should they wish to do so.

Here’s what the situation looks like:

— Either plan is better than the current system, which contains no limits on lobbyist giving whatsoever. The voters of Georgia have made it clear that they are no longer willing to tolerate such lax laws or the political culture they create.

— Neither plan is as ambitious as its supporters claim. Both would have to be tightened considerably before the high praise of their authors could be justified, and it’s far from certain that is going to happen.

— At some point very soon, leaders of the House and Senate are going to have to sit down to try to reconcile their very different approaches into a single piece of legislation that both can support. The process won’t be easy or quick. Both chambers have significant pride of authorship, and are likely to balk at publicly backing down and accepting the other body’s plan.

And with the legislative schedule calling for the session to end Thursday, March 27, time is running out.

The best compromise might be a plan that drops the Senate’s $100-per-item limit to a more reasonable $50, which would still allow purchase of a lunch or reasonable dinner by a lobbyist looking for an ear to bend. It’s not a ban, but it’s not a $100 cap either. In other words, it would be a victory for ethics reform, while allowing neither chamber to claim victory over the other. It’s also important that loopholes in both approaches be tightened.

However, it is also all too plausible that no such compromise is reached in the hustle and bustle of the session’s last days, leaving current law in place. If that’s the outcome, leaders in the House and Senate will surely attempt to blame each other for that failure. After all this posturing and talk of historic achievement, though, I have a hard time believing that voters will have any patience with either side should that happen.

– Jay Bookman

387 comments Add your comment

Doggone/GA

March 22nd, 2013
8:27 am

I find it amusing that people who have lax ethics already are attempting to write “stop me before I ‘kill’ again” legislation.

Granny Godzilla

March 22nd, 2013
8:31 am

Apparently the correct spelling of “ethics” in the Georgia Legislature is “ETHIC$”

barking frog

March 22nd, 2013
8:33 am

Ethics will prevail, sooner or later.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

March 22nd, 2013
8:33 am

My bet is that, even if they pass a law, no matter what the law, it will be swiss cheese and enforcement will be thin and meager.

Normal, Plain and Simple

March 22nd, 2013
8:37 am

The Georgia politicians favorite philosopher, P. T. Barnum, said it best: “There’s a sucker born every minute”. And in this case the sucker is us, if we continue to put up with it.

Jm

March 22nd, 2013
8:39 am

History will be made

But only because time moves forward

Sort of

Brosephus™

March 22nd, 2013
8:40 am

Yet these buffoons will get elected again with ease continuing the trend of self enrichment that’s currently the status quo. I used to think the stupidity came from the dome. Now, I can understand why they don’t change things. Why change when you keep getting elected while doing absolutely nothing?

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

March 22nd, 2013
8:41 am

reasonable $50, which would still allow purchase of a lunch or reasonable dinner by
a lobbyist looking for an ear to bend.

What this country needs is a good $50 hamburger.

________________________

Harvard? Really?

Jm

March 22nd, 2013
8:42 am

I like history

Reading about the past is more reliable than reading about the future

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
8:43 am

These yahoos are as effective at reforming ethics as I am at picking a winning NCAA tournament bracket.

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
8:44 am

I like history

Reading about the past is more reliable than reading about the future

Shame you don’t retain any of it and learn from it………

Jm

March 22nd, 2013
8:45 am

“Harvard? Really?”

Statistics says yes.

And this is basketball. Not football silly.

fedup

March 22nd, 2013
8:45 am

Brosephus™

“Yet these buffoons will get elected again with ease continuing the trend of self enrichment that’s currently the status quo. I used to think the stupidity came from the dome. Now, I can understand why they don’t change things. Why change when you keep getting elected while doing absolutely nothing?”

Case and point Tom Graves and the Gov.

Jm

March 22nd, 2013
8:46 am

Fred: mute on

by golly

March 22nd, 2013
8:47 am

For us non-basketball viewing fans, when is March Madness over?

Mike

March 22nd, 2013
8:47 am

Don’t ya know these guys are hating every minute of having to pass this…or pretending too. Time will tell. Like our host is saying, it’s not done yet.
They have this all planned out anyway. Let’s see how creative these weasels can get. Ought to be fun.

Thomas Heyward Jr

March 22nd, 2013
8:47 am

“After all this posturing and talk of historic achievement, though, I have a hard time believing that voters will have any patience with either side should that happen.”
.
Whatever.
.
R&D voters ALWAYS are satified with Rhetoric over Record.
.
See George Bush and Obama Bush.

Jm

March 22nd, 2013
8:48 am

By golly

April silly. April 6 to be exact.

Jm

March 22nd, 2013
8:50 am

Mick

Augusta will have to start selling their passes in $100 or $50 tranches

Jm

March 22nd, 2013
8:53 am

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
8:53 am

JM: mind off

ByteMe - Got ilk?

March 22nd, 2013
8:55 am

After all this posturing and talk of historic achievement, though, I have a hard time believing that voters will have any patience with either side should that happen.

I have a different view of this: I think the whole thing was cooked up to look like both chambers wanted to do something without having to actually having a law reach the governor’s desk. That’s the problem with one-party rule: there’s no real adversarial relationship to keep the other side honest. So they write little “ethics” mini-plays that have lots of drama but no real ending. We end up with a little play and not much real change.

Jm

March 22nd, 2013
8:56 am

Figures. Rabble rousers.

Obama heckler was anti-Zionist, not pro-Pollard

By JOSH GERSTEIN |
3/22/13 6:59 AM EDT

A heckler who interrupted President Barack Obama’s speech to the Israeli people on Thursday was an Israeli Arab denouncing the president’s endorsement of Israel as a Jewish state, press reports said Friday.

Some in the hall believed that the shouting, which prompted Obama to stop his speech for a few moments, was calling on Obama to release Jonathan Pollard. He’s serving a life term for spying against the U.S. on behalf of Israel.

However, the heckler at the Jerusalem International Convention Center identified himself later as Rabia Eid, a 24-year-old Israeli Arab angry with Obama.

“Obama talked about a Jewish state, and that is unacceptable to me and to the Arabs of the world,” Eid said on Israel’s Channel 10 television, according to the Jerusalem Post. Eid called Obama’s speech “extremist and zionist.”

QE 4 EVAH?

March 22nd, 2013
8:56 am

The liberal solution would be to pay them more money so they don’t have to moonlight.

stands for decibels

March 22nd, 2013
8:57 am

Augusta will have to start selling their passes in $100 or $50 tranches

good ‘un, Jm.

Peadawg

March 22nd, 2013
8:57 am

Fred ™
March 22nd, 2013
8:43 am

Best post of the day and it’s only 9:00 in the morning.

Harvard busted your bracket too, eh?

indigo

March 22nd, 2013
8:58 am

“I have a hard time believing that voters will have any patience with either side should that happen”

Since it’s a virtual certainty that will happen, what are you suggesting, Jay?

That Georgia voters just won’t vote?

That a third Party will magically appear and get all the votes?

Or, do you just not realize that Georgia voters have become comfortably numb to their crooked politicians and nothing will change?

Brosephus™

March 22nd, 2013
8:58 am

fedup

You can use almost any two name combination as proof, but I get your point.

alex

March 22nd, 2013
8:59 am

Like many things in life with differing opinions and a need for compromise, you need to start somewhere. I applaud both houses for aknowledging the problem . Now the real work begins and those on the sidelines can be optimists or pessimists..Nothing of real vlaue comes easily and this will surely not be . Will both sides be completely happy, No,but that is what compromise is all about. Next topic, something with gravitas…

by golly

March 22nd, 2013
8:59 am

Not until April 6th??? OMG. All those guys are so tall I have never understood how they miss.

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
8:59 am

Peadawg: EVERYONE busted my bracket lol. I’m firmly entrenched in last place. Although in the ESPN bracket I picked Harvard………

stands for decibels

March 22nd, 2013
9:00 am

The liberal solution would be to pay them more money so they don’t have to moonlight.

Actually, that is something I’ve suggested on more than a few occasions. If we want professionals doing this work, they ought to be paid accordingly. pretty freaking stupid, penny-wise and pound-foolish, to try to save a teensy amount on salaries and effectively make them more indebted to whatever interests can bid the highest for their attention.

And yes, I know that technically this is sort of a part time gig–which raises another question–why is that? What kind of dumb “guvernz less guvernz best!” Reaganite crap is that, anyway?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

March 22nd, 2013
9:02 am

I suggest the legislature create a facebook page and we institute Legislature Shaming. Like dog shaming, we should have Legislators have to hold up signs “For a steak, I let a corporation pollute water and harm GA kids”, “For a golf trip for me, X kids died”.

Sean Smith

March 22nd, 2013
9:02 am

Republicans are always going on about how they want to run the government like a business. Well all of the large companies I have called on don’t allow their purchasing agents or decision makers to take anything, no lunches not even a ball cap. Lest they be unduly influenced.

No wining and dining. Do your business at the office where it should be.

Georgia on my mind...

March 22nd, 2013
9:02 am

Here we go again…time to clean house in Gawga!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kH_EZF0XqM&ob=av2e

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
9:03 am

Next topic, something with gravitas…

Yeah. Talk about ethics and morals makes right wingers uncomfortable.

by golly

March 22nd, 2013
9:07 am

I was looking forward to a Fred and Thulsa Doom thrown down last night. What happened?

Jefferson

March 22nd, 2013
9:08 am

Reasonable people can come to reasonable conclusions under reasonable conditions, unless you are a republican.

Again the GOP wants freebies, but expects everyone else to work and buy their own lunch.

Welcome to the Occupation

March 22nd, 2013
9:09 am

What do you expect from a state ruling class that has literally gotten everything that it wants with its partisan makeover to the GOP in recent decades and a population that votes down the party line without a thought.

This group of “leaders” has no reason whatsoever to fear that they will be held to any higher standard of conduct in any substantive way when there’s not the slightest evidence of any groundswell of outrage or pressure coming from the citizens of the state. Do they even have polls in the state to track public feeling towards the state legislature?

Brosephus™

March 22nd, 2013
9:09 am

dB

I think that people should have to serve within the legislature in some form kind of like jury duty. I think actually seeing what goes on first hand would be enough to get some people to be more cognizant when in the voting booth. Like you, I don’t understand the part time thing. That may have worked when legislators had to go back and tend the farm. Nowadays, it seems very counterproductive.

DannyX

March 22nd, 2013
9:10 am

“…when is March Madness over?”

It doesn’t end, not as long as there are Republicans. March Madness is followed by April Crazy, then May Insane, June Loony Tunes, July Wackiness, August Fruit Loops, and so on.

Of course during a Presidential campaign year Republicans super size it.

QE 4 EVAH?

March 22nd, 2013
9:10 am

All things being equal:

White House meets lobbyists off campus

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/50081.html

Caught between their boss’ anti-lobbyist rhetoric and the reality of governing, President Barack Obama’s aides often steer meetings with lobbyists to a complex just off the White House grounds — and several of the lobbyists involved say they believe the choice of venue is no accident.

It allows the Obama administration to keep these lobbyist meetings shielded from public view — and out of Secret Service logs kept on visitors to the White House and later released to the public.

Thomas Heyward Jr

March 22nd, 2013
9:11 am

We should pay them more…………..but not as much as 500,000 dollars that Obama gets.
.
lol

F. Sinkwich

March 22nd, 2013
9:12 am

‘Tis a regrettable shame the barrels of AJC ink and mountain of Bookman pixels devoted to this meaningless topic could have been put to better use highlighting the incredibly pee-poor leadership demonstrated daily by O’bozo and his appointed band of radical America-haters.

Doggone/GA

March 22nd, 2013
9:13 am

“Nowadays, it seems very counterproductive.”

I don’t know that I agree with that. Legislators are getting more and more out of touch with the reality of life in the “real” world as it is. Do we REALLY want them to be totally divorced from that world and SOLELY dependent on what they make as legislators?

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
9:13 am

I was looking forward to a Fred and Thulsa Doom thrown down last night. What happened?

I won’t fight an unarmed man or a cripple.

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
9:16 am

Tis a regrettable shame the barrels of AJC ink and mountain of Bookman pixels devoted to this meaningless topic

More proof that Right wingers don’t like to talk about ethics and morals……..

UNCLE SAMANTHA

March 22nd, 2013
9:18 am

FORGET ETHICS………. PLEASE SPEED UP GLOBAL WARMING………ITS TOO COLD

Brosephus™

March 22nd, 2013
9:19 am

Doggone

I wouldn’t make the session year round. I do think it needs to extend beyond 40 days though.

Soothsayer

March 22nd, 2013
9:21 am

Was it really 50 years ago today that a piece of plastic with music on was the first for a British group called the Beatles?

Erwin's cat

March 22nd, 2013
9:22 am

Stands for dB – Actually, that is something I’ve suggested on more than a few occasions. If we want professionals doing this work, they ought to be paid

I completely agree, pay them a good wage to attract some qualified folks and eliminate “tips” altogether

stands for decibels

March 22nd, 2013
9:22 am

Hey, here’s my all-purpose suggestion, but since I’m too lazy to look it up I’ll just ask the assorted brain trust here to weigh in:

Anyone know how they compensate, and monitor backsheesh of, provincial legislators in civilized countries?

Let’s see how they do that, and do it accordingly here. How about that?

Brosephus™

March 22nd, 2013
9:23 am

Fred @ 9:16

You can’t adequately discuss something that you’re completely clueless about.

Doggone/GA

March 22nd, 2013
9:23 am

“I do think it needs to extend beyond 40 days though.”

Yes, I agree. It’s a more complex world today…more time is needed.

Erwin's cat

March 22nd, 2013
9:26 am

Bro – I think that people should have to serve within the legislature in some form kind of like jury duty. I think actually seeing what goes on first hand would be enough to get some people to be more cognizant when in the voting booth

You have greater faith in the general public than I ever will when it comes to this….now it you could qualify a person out of the pool like they do for actually serving on a jury…then maybe

F. Sinkwich

March 22nd, 2013
9:27 am

“I wouldn’t make the session year round. I do think it needs to extend beyond 40 days though.”

No way, unless it’s only by ten days in exchange for convening only every other year.

QE 4 EVAH?

March 22nd, 2013
9:28 am

Just like Bookman, his minions ignore Obama’s double-talk on lobbyists. It’s all too transparent.

Leaving you to ignore the obvious.

Brosephus™

March 22nd, 2013
9:28 am

dB

If I remember correctly about Singapore, they pay professional wages. They also groom and educate those who will be in specific positions. Their commerce person will be business educated. I can’t remember how their legislators are done though. They don’t pick bunches of boneheaded doctors and lawyers like we do.

Welcome to the Occupation

March 22nd, 2013
9:30 am

stands: “Anyone know how they compensate, and monitor backsheesh of, provincial legislators in civilized countries?”

Make them journey to the capital thrice yearly to bow at the feet of the emperor and kiss his ring? Dunno.

skipper

March 22nd, 2013
9:30 am

Changing gears for 1 minute here (to try and help.) As a bicyclist, I read the article about all the bike-rider accidents and deaths (todays AJC.) I have an unusual take, and I AM a bicyclist….have been for years. Many of us (not me) “drift” out into the highway and practically dare cars to smack us! It is almost an attitude thing…….” I can ride here, too, so to heck with you cars!”
Everyone is not like that, but too many are. They will ride three wide in the lane, and make no attempt to go single file on the side of the road, even if they are backing cars up forever. Again, not all are like this, but too many! And, again, I have ridden for years, and have seen (and tried to correct) this behaviour. Of course cars should always be on the lookout for bikes, but fellow bikers, tempting fate by the lack of caution, or worse a poor attitude is a deal nobody talks about. So, here it is.
Figured this was more interesting than “ethics reform” (or lack thereof.)

liberal hack

March 22nd, 2013
9:30 am

My ethics package is better than yours says the Senate to the House, hogwash!

When are these clowns going to be serious about ethics reform. I guess the days of elected officials voting the wishes of their constituents as supposed to their lobbyist sugar daddy are truly gone

BTW, my bracket has gotten beat up too….seems to be the topic du jour….

Uhh,

In the middle

March 22nd, 2013
9:30 am

Just curious, can anybody cite one law that was passed or not passed because of gifts..(No you idiots I am not against ethics reform) I am curious if this is more about posturing and pandering than actually getting to a better result for the citizens.

Welcome to the Occupation

March 22nd, 2013
9:30 am

QE 4 EVAH: “Just like Bookman, his minions ignore Obama’s double-talk on lobbyists..”

Citation please.

Morality?

March 22nd, 2013
9:31 am

ZERO lobbyists gifts or even “campaign contributions” for the state and ZERO for the Congress in D.C. Let’s not leave out the hogs at the trough in D.C. JAY. Without the lobbyist’s kickbacks to Congressmen for “campaign contributions” they wouldn’t hang round so long.

Dave

March 22nd, 2013
9:31 am

Whatever watered down law they end up passing will be ignored by most of them anyway.

Brosephus™

March 22nd, 2013
9:32 am

EC

I would give them positions based on a process like striking a jury. Whether they serve as a secretary, page, or junior legislator, I would make everyone part of the system. I don’t think companies have enough money to bribe the entire state.

southpaw

March 22nd, 2013
9:33 am

Jefferson

March 22nd, 2013
9:08 am
Reasonable people can come to reasonable conclusions under reasonable conditions, unless you are a republican
——————————————————
So, since–for example–Redneck Convert is a Republican, it follows that reasonable people CANNOT come to reasonable conclusions under reasonable conditions? If not, than what exactly happens if someone is a Republican?

liberal hack

March 22nd, 2013
9:33 am

Fred, I’m very much a “right winger” and I want ethics reform. We should have a clean, people representative gov’t as supposed to this ethically challenged junk we have now…

Morality?

March 22nd, 2013
9:33 am

Force the networks to give free TV time for candidates running for Congress – equal amount for each party and eliminate campaign contributions. Time to cut back on the influence of outside interests. NBC, etc have been getting filthy rich off of the Prez elections for years and time for them to pay it back.

Erwin's cat

March 22nd, 2013
9:33 am

I would give them positions based on a process like striking a jury. Whether they serve as a secretary, page, or junior legislator, I would make everyone part of the system

That works!

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
9:34 am

Just like Bookman, his minions ignore Obama’s double-talk on lobbyists. It’s all too transparent.

Leaving you to ignore the obvious.

Naw, we just ignore trolls and ignorant posts. The lobby thing you posted was too stupid to bother to comment on. If it’s so “secret” then why is there a silly little right wing nutcase website article on it?

TiredOfIt

March 22nd, 2013
9:34 am

Aren’t loopholes just a form of entitlements for the wealthy?

Morality?

March 22nd, 2013
9:34 am

Outlaw LAWYERS for the Prez office…… to many lawyers in D.C.

stands for decibels

March 22nd, 2013
9:36 am

I dunno what kind of salaries these guys/gals make, but for instance, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario is certainly a full-time gig:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legislative_Assembly_of_Ontario

But this is the Yew Ess of Aye, and we have to do everything the hard way.

Erwin's cat

March 22nd, 2013
9:36 am

Morality – Outlaw LAWYERS for the Prez office…… to many lawyers in D.C.

Why, how many are there now?

Morality?

March 22nd, 2013
9:37 am

Clinton, “W”, Obama – LAWYERS. We need a Prez that understands economics – not class action lawsuits.

liberal hack

March 22nd, 2013
9:37 am

In fact, I would even stomach a center left gov’t IF, those instituting the policies were truly working for the benefit of all the people as supposed to themselves or to those they are just buying votes for and IF they instituted a policy that was detrimental to the economy that they would be honest enough to admit it was a mistake and revoke it instead of doubling down on it.

stands for decibels

March 22nd, 2013
9:37 am

Force the networks to give free TV time for candidates running for Congress – equal amount for each party and eliminate campaign contributions. Time to cut back on the influence of outside interests. NBC, etc have been getting filthy rich off of the Prez elections for years and time for them to pay it back.

I’m so old I can remember when liberals and conservatives all pretty much agreed on that^^.

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
9:38 am

<i.Just curious, can anybody cite one law that was passed or not passed because of gifts.

Wow. REALLY?

Senator Snuffy: I’d like to Thank my sponsors at Jack Daniels for their wonderful support in crafting this new law on lowering the drinking age. And while I’m at it, don’t let me forget to thank State Farm for their support on the law to limit damages in law suits…………..

Just damn

Keep Up the Good Fight!

March 22nd, 2013
9:38 am

They don’t pick bunches of boneheaded doctors and lawyers like we do

Actually the number of attorneys who are legislative is and has been at a historic low for some time. From the State Bar Journal in 2.2012

Over the years, the number of lawyers in the General Assembly has
dwindled. Today we are at risk of having too few seasoned lawyers in the
ranks of the legislature to skillfully parse the words of legislation so as to avoid the “law of unintended consequences.” Too few to explain to their non-lawyer colleagues how the court system really works. Too few to keep in focus the importance of an adequately funded, independent third branch of government.

stands for decibels

March 22nd, 2013
9:39 am

jeez, is there an echo in here?

In fact, I would even stomach a center left gov’t IF, those instituting the policies were truly working for the benefit of all the people as supposed to themselves or to those they are just buying votes for and IF they instituted a policy that was detrimental to the economy that they would be honest enough to admit it was a mistake and revoke it instead of doubling down on it.

You and probably 80% or so of actual americans, I’d think.

Morality?

March 22nd, 2013
9:40 am

9:36 Over 70 % in Congress & the Prez are lawyers. To much influence from one sector. Lawyers are good at one thing – creating and constantly changing the rule book. Just look at the ridiculous ta laws that even CPA’S CAN’T UNDERSTAND.

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
9:40 am

Fred, I’m very much a “right winger” and I want ethics reform. We should have a clean, people representative gov’t as supposed to this ethically challenged junk we have now…

Well you are the first one here today to not say, “Change the subject” or what about Washington?’ or but but but but BENGHAZI!!!!!!!!!! or some other insipid of topic remark…..

TiredOfIt

March 22nd, 2013
9:41 am

Morality?
March 22nd, 2013
9:37 am

Clinton, “W”, Obama – LAWYERS. We need a Prez that understands economics – not class action lawsuits.
++
Bush had a MBA. How did that workout

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
9:42 am

Clinton, “W”, Obama – LAWYERS. We need a Prez that understands economics – not class action lawsuits.

What does that have to do with your Republican crooks in the Statehouse here in Georgia? THAT is the topic today. Too scared to talk about that?

Granny Godzilla

March 22nd, 2013
9:42 am

Did somebody say March Madness?

My picks in the Theocon region match ups….

Bill Donohue
Karen Handel

In the middle

March 22nd, 2013
9:42 am

Fred – So based on what you are saying, the only reason that the drinking age was lowered was because of Jack Daniels. Is that true?

kayaker 71

March 22nd, 2013
9:43 am

Another GA Assembly Republican legislature rant……yawn.

TBS

March 22nd, 2013
9:43 am

Morality

“The Founding Fathers: A Brief Overview

The 55 delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention were a distinguished body of men who represented a cross section of 18th-century American leadership. Almost all of them were well-educated men of means who were dominant in their communities and states, and many were also prominent in national affairs. Virtually every one had taken part in the Revolution; at least 29 had served in the Continental forces, most of them in positions of command.”

Occupations

“The delegates practiced a wide range of occupations, and many men pursued more than one career simultaneously. Thirty-five were lawyers or had benefited from legal training, though not all of them relied on the profession for a livelihood. Some had also become judges.”

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_founding_fathers_overview.html

Was 35 of 55 a bad thing at that time?

liberal hack

March 22nd, 2013
9:43 am

sfd, you are probably right about the 80% but honestly, imho, I have lost complete faith in those in gov’t to do the right thing, I don’t care what party affiliation. Though I’d suppose there are some out there that are honest and truly just desire to serve..

Granny Godzilla

March 22nd, 2013
9:43 am

oops

forgot

Tony Perkins
James Dobson

This bracket stuff is complicated!

td

March 22nd, 2013
9:44 am

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
8:59 am

” I’m firmly entrenched in last place.”

I am firmly entrenched in the middle just like my views are on this blog.

liberal hack

March 22nd, 2013
9:45 am

Fred, a state government that serves the people and isn’t ethically challenged is good for all Georgians.

Morality?

March 22nd, 2013
9:45 am

9:38 – What do you expect – consider the source THE BAR. Come on – really? Really? Is the BAR going to say we have to many lawyers? Not likely.

Jay

March 22nd, 2013
9:45 am

“Just curious, can anybody cite one law that was passed or not passed because of gifts..”

Middle, all I can tell you is that special interests spend an awful lot of money on such things, which suggests that THEY think they get a return on that investment, and they’re in the best position to know.

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
9:45 am

I dunno what kind of salaries these guys/gals make, but for instance, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario is certainly a full-time gig:

Ontario? Isn’t that the site of the only French victory since Napoleon? I mean isn’t that where the French took 1/3 of Canada right out of the middle?

Yeah. I want to be JUST like them………… NOT.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

March 22nd, 2013
9:46 am

The reality is that most legislators do not draft bills. Lobbyists do. See ALEC for example.

Welcome to the Occupation

March 22nd, 2013
9:46 am

Morality? “Clinton, “W”, Obama – LAWYERS. We need a Prez that understands economics – not class action lawsuits”

What gives you the idea this president understands nothing of economics?

This president understands economics perfectly well, the economics of protecting the wealth of the 1% and the financier class, that is.

In other words, he’s right in light with what all your heroes in economics think (if you even know who they are).

Grasshopper

March 22nd, 2013
9:47 am

So a $50 meal makes you ethical while a $100 meal makes you unethical?

Fred ™

March 22nd, 2013
9:47 am

I am firmly entrenched in the middle just like my views are on this blog.

Thanks for the early morning laugh. You are so far to the right you make Sean Hannity look like a liberal.